By A.J. Fusco
Ask any firefighter what the quintessential firehouse meal is, and I can almost guarantee it is steak and potatoes. Ribeye, NY strips, and filet mignon are all popular cuts, especially for “promotional,” “end of probation,” or “retirement” dinners. Although delicious, they also happen to be the most expensive cuts. The reason for this is their tenderness, which is because of their location on the steer. They are all located in the center and high area toward the spine of the animal, which means they get less use than, say, a chuck steak that comes from the neck or a top round which comes from the rump. The cuts that are low and toward the extremities are also usually leaner and tougher, but they also pack a punch in the flavor department.
One of my favorite “everyday” steaks is the flank. Located behind the belly, this cut is very tough if overcooked or not sliced properly, but it also has a ton of that beefy flavor we love.
Flank steak is perfect for high heat, quick cooking because of it being so lean and thin. And although it is great on its own, with a little salt and pepper, it is also perfect for stuffing because of it’s flat shape. Because it is so lean, stuffing with prosciutto and mozzarella adds some needed extra fat, kind of like wrapping something in bacon. The sweetness of the sun-dried tomato compliments the savory beef, while the fresh basil brightens the whole dish. This recipe is sure to be a hit in the firehouse for the next steak dinner!
Flank Steak Pinwheels
2 lb. Flank Steak
¼ lb. Thin Sliced Prosciutto
¼ C Sun-Dried Tomato, chopped
Small Ball of Fresh Mozzarella, sliced thin
Small Bunch of Fresh Basil
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Lay flank steak out on a sheet of plastic wrap, and cover the top of the steak with another piece of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or the bottom of small pot, flatten steak out starting from the center outwards. Be careful not to go to thin or you will end up with holes in the meat.
- Place steak horizontal to you and season both sides with salt and pepper. Layer the prosciutto; followed by the sun-dried tomato;fresh mozzarella; and, finally, basil. Starting with the end closest to you, roll up the steak tightly going with the grain. Skewer the steak in 1½-inch intervals. Cut the end of the skewers with kitchen shears so that they don’t stick out too far (depending on thickness of roll, you may be able to use toothpicks). Cut in between each skewer to create even pinwheels.
- Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and proceed to add the pinwheels, flat side down. Cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes or until the internal temperature reach 130*F for medium-rare.
- Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before removing skewers. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil.
A.J. Fusco started Fork and Hose Company in 2011 by as a way to share his passion for cooking with other firefighters. Over time, it grew to a community of firehouse chefs sharing meals and recipes from all over the world, with a focus on healthier cooking. In 2017, A.J.’s dedication to firehouse cooking landed him on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” twice, and on his first show he won the Salute to Firefighters episode! A.J.’s passion for cooking didn’t stop in the firehouse! He enrolled at the International Culinary Center in Manhattan in 2016 and graduated Top of the Class in the Professional Culinary Arts program. A.J. has worked in professional kitchens in Manhattan and Westchester since graduating and continues to do so on his days off from the firehouse.